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What are some pros and cons of the U.S. legal system? 

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Phillip Holland eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The American legal system has many good points. Cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited by the Constitution, and one has a right to a trial by one's peers, for example. Additionally, both the prosecution and the defense have access to lawyers, who must argue their case in front of an impartial judge. One is found innocent until proven guilty. Jurors are to be impartial, and they are carefully screened during jury selection. While it is nearly impossible to have true impartiality in a case, lawyers' questioning can ensure that the jury has not made up its mind before the presentation of evidence. There are laws stating that one cannot be tried twice for the same crime and laws against self-incrimination.

There are many flaws in the system as well. The system seems to be stacked against minority defendants—jurors can be biased by their preconceived notions of minorities. Rich people can afford better lawyers than the poor, who often have to rely on public defenders. Public defenders...

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